Ink, Tips and Such - CatinksITS

Inks are made up of a Colorant and a Carrier.  The colorant is dye or pigment while the carrier is water or solvent.  (Solvent inks will have an odor.)  The carrier will dissolve leaving the colorant behind.

In Dye based inks, the dye soaks into the paper and bonds.  In Pigment based inks, the pigment sits on top of the paper and is opaque (non-transparent – hides the paper).

When speaking of inks, archival means fade resistant and acid free.

Tip:  Keep your heat tool handy to help with drying and setting faster.

Questions to ask:
** "Do I care if the inks will fade over time?"
** "Do I want my ink to be opaque (not transparent), meaning light shows up on dark paper, as in the ink covers what is underneath it?"
** “With this project, how long do I have for the ink to dry?”
** “What the difference is between CTMH Archival Black ink (44751) and CTMH Water-based Black Dye ink (Z2124)?”
** “What is the difference between the Archival Black ink and StazOn Black ink?”

Pigment / Archival Inks (Close To My Heart offers three hues of pigment – White Daisy Z2163, Colonial White Z2168, and Vanilla Cream Z2169 and Black Archival ink 44751) are permanent, fast-drying, water proof, lightfast, fade-proof and non-smearing.  They will not run when they come in contact with other liquids like when using water colors, two-step stamping with an outline image and random stamping. Pigment will stain your stamps.  Archival inks are normally pigment-based, acid-free and fade-resistant, that is why their vibrant colors are used in a scrapbook where you don't want the colors to fade over time.  They are permanent and can be used on fabrics, wood or glass.  The pigments make them take longer to dry than water-based inks and are better used for less-detailed stamping.  If you want a light color or white on a dark cardstock, you will want to use a pigment ink.  It is necessary to clean your Double Scrubber (Z1163 Stamp Cleaner Pad) after each use of pigment inks.

Embossing Inks are basically the same as pigment inks, except without the pigment! Obviously they are not used for their own color, but rather just to provide the wet base needed for a medium such as embossing powder to stick to the surface. Embossing pens are also available for adding powder to freehand drawings.

Water-based Dye Ink – (Close To My Heart has 60 Exclusive hues) Acid-Free and are easy to work with since they are not as ‘thick’ as the pigment inks - translucent.  It can take longer to dry and may bleed when it comes in contact with something moist or wet (even your hands.)  Tends to be darker, richer black but unless you have them side by side, you may not notice.  Dye inks are good for stamps with details and can be used with Embossing Powders.  Dye based pads, even "fade resistant" ones, cannot promise to be completely archival (which means fade resistant - phrases like "archivally safe" are not the same and a tricky way of avoiding the fade issue.)

Note:  Embossing Pens have water-based ink.  Blending Pens are filled with a clear blending solution and work well with water-based dye inks.

StazOn (Z888 Black and ) on is solvent-based and is designed to use on porous surfaces that wouldn't normally hold ink like plastic, metal, glass, coated papers, velum, acetate, clear cards, wax, ceramic tiles, tin, etc. however not used for fabrics.  Needs special StazOn Cleaner (Z890)

TIP: Copic Markers and StazOn are not compatible, as they are both alcohol based, and the Copic Markers will re-activate the StazOn and cause smearing.

TIP: StazOn ink pads can dry out easy.  Keep the inner plastic piece on the ink pad and purchase the available StazOn Re-inker (Z889) with you initial purchase.

VersaMark (Z891) Resist Inks - explore the possibilities of watermarking, or stamp subtle tone-on-tone images onto colored cardstock. Create a resist image by stamping on glossy cardstock and brayering with dye ink. VersaMark is so sticky that it will act as a ”glue" for chalks and pigment powders.  VersaMark ink creates wonderful monochromatic images on your colored cardstock and is ideal for use with pigment powders and chalks. It can be used for shadowing your letters and perfect for resist and embossing techniques. Non-toxic, acid-free and water soluble makes it easy cleanup.

Distress or Hybrid Ink (Z1296) dry slower, use on porous surfaces and are not permanent unless set with a heat gun, then they are archival safe.  They are opaque and have a chalk like appearance.  Noted for their soft "worn and weathered" colors, they’re different from most other dye inks because they stay wet longer, making them very "alterable". They are unbeatable for blending with water or other inks to produce special shadowing and antiquing effects. Try daubing some of this ink onto a piece of paper, and then mist it with water and watch the colors start mingling and spreading! They also work better on photos than other types of dye ink.

Fast Drying Pigment Inks – like chalk petal pads.  They dry instantly. They are opaque, although not as opaque as full pigment inks.  They may "swell" on the paper, or spread out.

Child Safe Ink is non-toxic and Child Safe. But remember it is a dye ink and dye inks can temporarily stain skin. It should come off inky fingers that have used a stamp pad for regular stamping by washing with soap and water.

TIP: Make sure that the washable ink pads you buy have a raised surface. Young children are likely to become very frustrated if you give them a small, enclosed ink pad that doesn’t fit the dimensions of the stamp they use.

TIP: When using a great deal of ink directly to skin to get a full hand or footprint, we recommend first putting some hand lotion on the skin as a barrier before inking, then washing off with shampoo and water. Most of the ink will then come off in the first washing.

Alcohol Inks have a concentrated color, specialize in non-porous surfaces (acrylic, glass, metal, etc.), but can be used on paper also especially glossy or metallic cardstock.  On paper, Alcohol inks can be interchangeable with Distress inks.  You can spritz alcohol inks & even mix them in a big bowl of water: dip paper!

Walnut Inks which is actually produced by soaking black walnuts in water, is another substance that is used for distressing. It  will add a brownish patina to paper for an antique look. 

India Inks is a deep black, super-quick-drying dye ink formula that has been used for centuries as an outline ink for illustrations that are intended to be painted over with watercolors. It works fine with modern water-based ink markers, as well. It is the fastest drying black dye ink and can be used for all porous and nonporous surfaces. 

Ink Pad Storage
A good rule of thumb is to always store all types of ink pads flat. Dye ink pads should be stored flat so that the ink does not run to one side of the pad and cause uneven inking. If an ink formulation is very wet, such as Distress Inks, it is not necessary to store them face down.

Pigment inks should be stored face up to avoid any potential pigment ink leakage from the foam pad.
Inking My Acrylix Clear Stamps by doing the Little Ink Dance of:  Tap, Tap, Twist, Twist – View.
  • Tap your stamp on your stamp pad twice
  • next twist your stamp on your stamp pad twice
  • next view your stamp image for overall coverage of the ink
  • If you are unsure, stamp on scrap paper or repeat the dance
Seasoning New First-Time Used My Acrylix Clear Stamps can be accomplished several ways:
  • inking them and stamping them several times until the stamped image is nice
  • rub (scrub gently) on the ink pad as you ink
  • use your Rub & Remove Eraser (Z1207) gently to remove the film on a new stamp being careful on the smaller detailed areas
  • when a stamp has been seasoned it will no long be completely clear and have a slight tint
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